At the end of the successful Oslo digital conference held last year (6-7 May, 2021), we said goodbye with the promise that it was the last time that EURA would have celebrated its most important event without the physical presence of the participants. A year later, we can say that the promise has been kept and we are close to meet again hundreds of scholars in Milan for the annual conference of the Association.
The title chosen for the EURA Conference 2022 (16-18 June) perfectly reflects the challenging time we are experiencing: “Defrag-Europe: fragility/antifragility at play in contemporary Europe”. It promotes a critical reflection on various processes of fragilisation, which impose distress on places and people, particularly in Europe, evidently tightly related to the global transition that the world is experiencing. The event invites scholars to challenge mainstream concepts and approaches, promoting transdisciplinary research and contributing to feeding a new policy agenda based on anti-fragility policies. This is the intriguing statement you will find in the conference website where the whole program and organisation details of the event are presented.
Since the inaugural event held in Brussels in 1997, the annual conference of the European Urban Research Association (EURA) has been a meeting point for scholars of various disciplines in the social sciences, which is exactly the multifaceted perspective we need to understand such a complex policy shift. We can say that the interest towards the European cities and regions, through interdisciplinary and comparative urban research, is a trademark of the Association from its foundation. The wide EURA international network, however, has always secured to conference participants a real global perspective. An example is the presence within the plenary sessions of prestigious speakers from all over the world, such as Sara Meerow (Arizona State University, US) and Oren Yiftachel (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel), just to mention two of the keynote speakers of the Milan conference. Moreover, along with the US-based Urban Affairs Association (UAA), since 2004 EURA is the co-organiser of the City Futures conference, an event that periodically attracts hundreds of scholars from all over the world.
To reflect the complexity of the processes and policies taking place in our cities, the organisers of the EURA 2022 conference have offered to urban scholars a wide number of thematic tracks, with focus ranging from sustainability to governance, from spatial inequalities to welfare, from economic risks to institutional adaption. Not least, during the conference the participants will be involved in a series of social events, including eleven mobile workshops that will offer a rich overview of the changing processes taking place in Milan, one of the most dynamic European cities.